Kylian Mbappe Admits Joining Arsenal Was a 'Real Option' After Meeting Arsene Wenger

2:40 | Soccer
Transfer window winners and losers: PSG up, Arsenal down
Thursday September 7th, 2017

Kylian Mbappe, the 18-year-old who stands to become the second most expensive player in history when his loan to Paris Saint-Germain is made permanent for €180m next summer, has admitted that Arsenal were a 'real option' for him had the PSG move not come about.

The Gunners were one of a number of clubs to show interest in the young forward, and Mbappe seems to have been particularly impressed when he spoke directly with Arsene Wenger.

"I met with Arsene Wenger, who is a great coach," Mbappe explained in an interview with the Daily Telegraph in Paris this week.

"He has a great reputation here in France, he's well-respected and knows how to develop young players. This was a real option for me. But, of course, Paris Saint-Germain was the main option."

The likes of Real Madrid, Barcelona, Liverpool and Manchester City were all also linked with the former Monaco prodigy. He says he chose PSG for the chance to 'develop' over the 'long-term', but there was an also an element of the Parisian-born player going home.

CHRISTOPHE SIMON/GettyImages

"We weighed up the advantages and disadvantages of all the clubs but my family told me it had to be my decision and one I needed to make," the player said. "It also had to be a long-term decision. So it was up to me and I decided to come here in order to develop."

Having sparked interest in the second half of last season, Mbappe was soon the most talked about player in world football again as soon as Neymar's €222m world record move to PSG was formally completed in early August. But he has quickly learned to handle the media circus.

"I have always remained myself and that is why I am where I am today," he said.

"I am aware of the risk with all the media attention, all the glitz and glamour around football. And that was the only piece of advice my father gave me about my future - to stay myself. I know where I come from."

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